Mountain View Looks to Help Residents Displaced by Rent Hikes

Mountain View city leaders are looking at providing more help to residents displaced due to the booming housing market.

The city council on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on raising assistance for residents forced out of their homes when landlords decide to renovate.

"We weren't expecting to move," said Angelina Estrella, who recently received a 90-day notice to move out of her apartment. "It's tough."

The apartment complex Estrella currently lives is being renovated, with rents set to increase by 50 percent.

"We want to stay here," Estrella said. "My daughter is in school here and it's very expensive."

Estrella and her husband have two kids. She also has been battling breast cancer for nearly a year.

Facing eviction and apartments out of their price range, the Estrella family turned to the city for help.

"We are very diverse in every sense -- in income, in background and in education," Councilwoman Ronit Bryant said. "And we would like to keep it that way."

Bryant said she plans to vote in favor of a new ordinance that will raise financial assistance for families like the Estrellas from $3,200 to $6,900.

"We would like to be able to offer more assistance to people who need it," Bryant said.

If the ordinance is approved, more low-income families will be eligible. But officials said there is no guarantee apartments will be available, especially as the price of rent continues to rise throughout the Bay Area.

Estrella and her family plan to stay in Mountain View -- for now. The current aid from the city will cover rent for two months before she will have to go back to work as a nurses assistant.

"I'm very nervous," she said. "I'm praying that everything will be OK by the grace of God."

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